Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis Continues To Ride The Bench
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has been used sparingly recently. That likely won’t change.
When the Baltimore Orioles take the field on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, first baseman Chris Davis will not be in the lineup for a fourth-straight night.
When speaking to the meadia on Thursday afternoon, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde stated that Davis will likely continue in a reserve role for the remainder of the 2019 season, even when major league rosters expand in September.
Is Chris Davis slowly being phased out in anticipation of the team moving him this offseason? I don’t know about that, but his benching does allow Brandon Hyde and Orioles leadership to evaluate younger talent over the course of the final five-plus weeks of the regular season.
Everyone is still competing for a 2020 roster spot, but a crowded outfield which is soon to become even more crowded is likely one of the bigger reasons for moving Davis to the bench (other than the obvious horrendous play at the plate). Trey Mancini has replaced Davis at first base, opening up an outfield spot for Hyde and the Orioles to get additional looks at as many players as possible.
More from Birds Watcher
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
DJ Stewart is finally healthy and hungry for steady playing time. He has a hit in three-straight games entering Thursday night. Anthony Santander has earned the right to play every day with his second-half play and Stevie Wilkerson continues to see time in the outfield as the combination of Hanser Alberto, Richie Martin, Rio Ruiz, and Jace Peterson fill in the infield around Jonathan Villar, who has yet to miss a game in 2019.
Dwight Smith Jr.is off the Injured List as of Thursday afternoon and was hot at the plate during his rehab stint in Triple-A Norfolk. In four games, Smith has at least one hit in each game (seven total) with a home run, two doubles, and just one strikeout. As I discussed a few days ago, Smith needs a strong finish to 2019 if he wants to avoid the Norfolk-Baltimore shuttle in 2020. The Orioles immediately optioned him back to Norfolk when they removed him from the Injured List, but he will surely be back next week.
September 1st could also see additional players in the Baltimore Orioles dugout. Cedric Mullins is already on the 40-man roster and has been swinging an improved bat the last few weeks in Double-A Bowie. Mark Trumbo is also scheduled to begin a rehab assignment next week and return to the majors in September.
Austin Hays is healthy, performing well, and on the 40-man roster, meaning he is a candidate for a September call-up. Then there’s the most notable name on the list of possible call-ups- first baseman/left fielder/designated hitter Ryan Mountcastle.
Mason Williams is another possibility. While he has had a tremendous season in Triple-A (.310/.371/.480, 33 extra-base hits, many highlight-reel plays on defense), he isn’t on the 40-man roster, making his addition a little more tricky.
The 40-man will sort itself out, but at least the Orioles have made the decision to bench Chris Davis to allow more playing time for these younger guys who have earned a chance this season.